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Powerlifting Bench Press

Squat Workout Routines

Squat Workout 1

Squat 2-3 sets warmup then 10 sets of 2 reps
Pause squats 2-3 singles
Power good morning 2 sets of 5-8 reps
Seated leg curls 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Squats are done for 10 sets of 2 reps with rest periods of about 1 minute. The sets of 2 are not done with the max weight I could do for 2 reps. Instead I started doing this method with a weight I could do for 1 set of 10 reps. Doing squats in this manner allows you to practice walking out and setting up with the weight. I got this method of doing squats from Louie Simmons, who has more success in training powerlifters than just about anyone. I have modified my training from his method to suit my body. You likewise should do the same with my methods.

Pause squats are done to provide explosion and drive off the bottom. I squat down until I am past parallel. I look in a mirror to verify my depth, wait a second or so and then blow the weight up. I do slightly more than my working weight in squats. I add from 20-60 pounds. The lesser weight would be earlier in the cycle, towards the end I would add more weight.

Power good morning must be done carefully. You take the weight and lean forward until the weight is in front of your feet. The important thing to remember is to keep the back arched. Otherwise you are asking for an injury. The bar should move about one foot at most. This exercise helps with the top and middle of the lift.

I do seated leg curls because that is the type of leg curl machine I have access to. It really doesn't matter if you can't use this type of machine. The important thing is to work the hamstrings. Hamstrings are the weak point in most lifters. If your hamstrings aren't strong enough you will not straighten up properly. This I feel is the factor in my past injuries. Since doing some specializing on hamstrings I have been fairly injury free, even with heavier weights.

Other exercises I might include: zercher squats; front squats; stiff leg deadlifts; and occasionally leg presses.
Zercher squats are squats done holding the bar in the crook of your arm. Your arms are basically in the position they are in at the top of curls. The bar rests in the lower part of the V that your arms form. You may need to use a pad on the bar.
Front squats are done like regular squats with the exception of holding the bar on the front of your shoulders.

Squat Workout 2

This is my current squat workout as I train for a contest. It is based on a combination of ideas from Louie Simmons and Paul Anderson. The multiple sets of 2 come from Louie Simmons. The rest comes from Paul Anderson. These are the two most inventive thinkers in the history of powerlifting. The workout should take about an hour or less. It involves the two major parts of the squat, the legs and the torso.

Squat warmup then 5 sets of 2 reps
1/4 Squats 3 sets of 8 to 5 reps
1 leg squats 2 sets as many reps as you can do

Squats are done for multiple sets of 2. Really the five sets of 2 is only done the first three weeks of the training cycle. Then a set is dropped per week after that. The multiple sets of 2 allow you to get more practice in setting up and walking out with the weight. This will pay off come contest time. I don't get too caught up in percents in my competition exercises. I just pick a weight based on knowledge of my body and capabilities. Then I add weight each week. I do base some of my assistance work on percentages, but not the main lifts.

1/4 squats are real good for developing the torso muscles that have to stabalize the squat. For safeties sake, only do these in a rack. To do them out of a rack is to invite injury. Only do these if you have a power rack or some apparatus to catch the weights approximately 6 inches from lockout. Otherwise you will most likely suffer a devastating injury. I put the bar on the rack roughly six inches from lockout and push up. However many who do these do choose to do a walkout inside the rack. Both are good methods. Like I said earlier, the bar should move about 6 inches or so. You should start doing these with about 150 over your squat goal. That would be a good weight for your first time doing these. Then you can add weight over time. But start a little conservative to get used to the heavy weights.

1 leg squats are tough to do. They really work the leg hard. This provides a great increase in leg strength. You need to have a platform of some sort to do these off of. It needs to be high enough that the non-squatting leg does not touch the floor. Some chairs may work for this. I use an old preacher bench that does not have the curling part on it anymore. You will probably need to do these in a rack or somwhere that has a place where you can put a supporting arm out. I do these in a smith machine and place the bar up fairly high. This supporting hand is not supposed to provide upward motion, it is just there for balance. I stop the set when I start to notice that the supporting arm is doing some of the work.

Squat Workout 3

Squats---------warmup then 5 sets of 2.
Pause squats---3 singles.
1/2 squats--1 warmup then 2 sets of 3 to 5 reps OR
Leg Curls---1 or 2 warmups then 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

Squats. By now you know of my preference for multiple sets of 2. Well I am prepared to be a bit more exact. These sets are done with 70 to 80 % of my max. Or at least my calculated max. That would be a raw max. Also I prefer to train with as little gear as possible. I only throw on the belt when I feel I need it. I used it, although not tightened, for every set except the first workset last week. Last week I was at 77.6%. It was my second week on this program. This program calls for a lot of jumping around in poundages. It is random and not progressive in nature. Week 1 I did 70.1%. Stay within the 70 to 80 % range. 70.1 just happened to load conveniently. The exact amount is not important. In general though the jumps won't be 7%, they will more likely be 2-3%. But they key is to be random, although I will tend to get lighter at the end of a cycle and then make a big jump for the next training cycle.

Pause squats. These are not the same as my last training cycle. These are done for a much longer pause with a lighter weight. The pause is a absolute rock bottom. It is hamstrings to calves on this one. The pause is for 5 seconds. Or at least the goal is five seconds. If you can't go five seconds on all three singles, don't increase the weight. I would think that 65% to 75% would be the range of percents you would want to use on these with 75 being a little high and 65 a little low. I did about 73% last week. You don't have to base these on percents. I generally just take a little weight off the bar. But the percents give you an idea of how much to take off.

1/2 squats I did not mention the fun aspect of these. You do these from the bottom position. That is you take the bar from midway to parallel to the top. These really work the middle of the squat and are especially hard on the torso.

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